Arete Investment Group filed a sports betting license lawsuit against the Montana Lottery. As a result, the launch of the sports wagering market industry was delayed.
Governor Steve Bullock signed a bill into law in May that made sports betting legal in Montana. Also, it gave the Lottery the responsibility to supervise it. However, Arete said there was nothing in the bill that stops the company from applying for a license.
The Lottery has a different interpretation of the law and argued that only taverns, restaurants, and bars with specific liquor licenses could apply for a sports betting license. Montana is the only state that ties gambling with its liquor licensing.
Sports Betting License Lawsuit
The business needs to have an alcoholic beverage license first to qualify for a gambling license. As a result, gambling only takes place at taverns, bars, and restaurants. However, the bill signed by Governor Bullock last May didn’t mention venue restrictions. An amendment to the bill added the limit.
According to pay per head providers, the original form of the bill required applicants to have an existing gambling operator license. Arete said that it has one. However, it didn’t specify what type of gambling the company operates.
The Gambling Control Division told sports betting software firms that operators with gambling licenses without a liquor license can offer keno and bingo games in the state. Arete wants to apply for a sports betting license even if it doesn’t have an alcohol permit. Also, it wants to stop the Lottery from issuing sports betting licenses until the court resolves the lawsuit.
On the other hand, the Lottery told the best bookie pay per head that the bill gave it the power to set rules to govern the sports betting market in the state. Also, it said that sports betting in taverns and bars only was the intention of the bill’s authors.